Danger: Mines – Land mines in Cambodia

10 Feb

On our way from one temple to another our Tuk-Tuk driver casually asks if we’d be interested to visit the Cambodian Land mine museum.  Seeing that we needed a break from temples anyhow we said yes.  Very nonchalantly we strolled into the museum taking pictures of the workers/volunteers cleaning and rearranging the land mine display in the courtyard.

I started reading all the descriptions under the pictures on the wall and sadness struck my core.  Asian history is rarely covered in our curriculum so all I knew about the Vietnam war was that America fought Vietnam because there were communists and they didn’t like it.  I didn’t even think about the fact that the Vietnam war had a large effect on Cambodia.  Together with the many civil and regional wars, Cambodia is in fact a war torn country.  Something I did not know.  Apart from different political groups in Cambodia raging war against each other, The US, Vietnam, Thailand and Japan all played a part in tearing Cambodia up.

It’s shattering to realize that around 35 people are killed a month, every month, due to the aftermath of all Cambodia’s wars.  I read on wikipedia that one out of every 275 people have lost a limb.  That is shocking.  In the museum I read that  there are well over 3 million undetonated land mines in Cambodia.  These mines are everywhere – in the countryside, in villages, in the jungles.  All Cambodian guidebooks actually warn you that you should be very careful whenever you travel off the beaten track.

Here is the website of the Cambodia Land Mine Museum



One Response to “Danger: Mines – Land mines in Cambodia”

  1. anti-personnel mines February 19, 2011 at 09:24 #

    The US still stockpiles over 10 million mines, and has yet to sign the Ottawa treaty. Shame on us.

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